One Italian Summer by Catherine Mangan

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | General Fiction | Women’s Fiction
One Italian Summer by Catherine Mangan

By Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

One Italian Summer by Catherine Mangan

One Italian Summer by Catherine Mangan was published in the summer of 2022 with Sphere and is described as ‘a glorious and uplifting escapist novel set against the stunning backdrop of the Italian coast. The perfect holiday read for fans of Rosanna Ley, Jo Thomas and Karen Swan.’

‘The façade of the hotel was a series of arches, each of which was covered with purple and red bougainvillea in full bloom.’

I am a huge fan of anything and everything Italian so over the weekend I picked this up expecting a light and summery read, and that is exactly what I got. Bursting with beautiful descriptions and beautiful people, One Italian Summer is the perfect frothy and escapist read for when you need respite from the chaos of the modern world.

Catherine Mangan is Irish so, although this novel is primarily set in Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples, and New York, the main character Lily is an Irish girl. Lily seems to have it all, the job, the friends, the New York ‘Sex in The City’ type of lifestyle and of course, the wealthy boyfriend. Her best friend, Dee, is getting married in, what will be, a dream Italian wedding and Lily is very excited.

Her boyfriend Peter is booked to go with her but an unexpected and life-changing discussion results in Lily travelling to Ischia solo. Distraught, confused, frustrated and angry, Lily decides to total her Amex card and enjoy the week in Italy with or without Peter. When Lily arrives in Naples, she is hot and bothered but that soon changes after a short boat trip to Ischia, and a private transfer to her accommodation. The wedding party is staying at a luxury hotel set up on a hillside, commanding incredible views, with staff who go above and beyond to welcome their guests.

Lily is the first to arrive and, within 24 hours, all her friends have gathered for a fabulous week of fun and laughter. But Lilly’s sparkle is further dimmed when she receives shocking news that has a huge impact on her already fragile state.

Can Ischia’s magic help heal Lily? Will her dream Italian trip be a disaster or can she rise above the turmoil and find new paths to venture down?

I have been very lucky to have visited Ischia on holidays years ago so it was delightful to relive parts of my trip through the eyes of Lily and her friends, albeit on a slightly more luxurious level! Catherine Mangan has a passion for Italy which is obvious in her writing. The glistening sea off the coast of Naples, with its particular blue, the scent of lemons and the colourful displays of bougainvillea are all authentically depicted bringing the reader on a glorious adventure. Lily and her friends live a plush and expensive lifestyle, way beyond my means and that of many of us I’m guessing, so it was fun to spend a week in their company, vicariously living through them.

One Italian Summer by Catherine ManganOne Italian Summer is a lush and light-hearted novel, the perfect pool-side read with a cocktail of choice in hand. Mine’s a Limoncello Spritz thank you!

(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)

Order your copy online here.

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